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Dark of the Moon
ISBN: 9780547581323
Author: Barrett, Tracy
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Published: September 2011
Retail: $16.99    OUR PRICE: $2.99
     You Save 82%
Binding Type: Hardcover
Annotation: Retells the story of the Minotaur through the eyes of his 15-year-old sister, Ariadne, a lonely girl destined to become a goddess of the moon, and her new friend, Theseus, the son of Athens' king who was sent to Crete as a sacrifice to be offered to the creature.
Additional Information
BISAC category: JUVENILE FICTION / Legends, Myths, Fables / Greek & Roman
Target Age Group: Age 12-14
Target Grade: Grade 7-9
Grade level: Grade 7-9
Physical Information: 1.00" H x 100.00" L x 6.00" W
Lexile Level: 920
Bargain Category: Fantasy, High School, Historical Fiction, Middle School, Myths & Legends
Grade level(s): 7th, 8th, 9th
Accelerated Reader Info
Quiz #: 145793
Reading Level: 6.2   Interest Level: Middle Grades   Point Value: 12.0
Scholastic Reading Counts Info
Quiz #: Q55540
Reading Level: 6.4   Interest Level: Grades 9-12   Point Value: 19.0
Descriptions, Reviews, Etc.
Reviewed by Horn Book Guide Reviews (Horn Book Guide Reviews 2012 Spring)
Reimagining the myth of Theseus and the Minotaur, Barrett gives new life to Ariadne as a lonely priestess with a disfigured and disabled brother: a wholly human Minotaur. Using a rich historical framework, the story alters events and characters enough to build fiction from mythology. Complex characters and relationships guide the plot to the preordained but still satisfying conclusion.
Reviewed by Publishers Weekly Reviews (PW Reviews 2011 August #1)

Barrett's story, like her King of Ithaka, is a reimagining drawn from antiquity, this time the myth of Theseus and the Minotaur. The beast, however, is not a monster but 18-year-old Asterion, born deformed and mentally incapacitated; he's capable of gentleness but more often tends to accidentally kill his playmates. The narrative largely centers on 15-year-old Ariadne, Asterion's sister and the future priestess of Krete, the most important position on the island, which is currently held by her mother. Ariadne believes in the traditions of her home, but secrets that her mother has kept, including doubts of Ariadne's validity as her successor, cause big problems when her mother dies. The balance of power is further threatened when a ship containing tributes from Athens arrives, including the scheming Prokris, seeking to take over Krete with 16-year-old Theseus, who narrates portions of the book as well. Barrett offers clever commentary on the spread of gossip and an intriguing matriarchal version of the story. Fans of Greek mythology should appreciate this edgier twist on one of its most familiar tales. Ages 12–up. (Sept.)

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Reviewed by School Library Journal Reviews (SLJ Reviews 2011 August)

Gr 7 Up—Ariadne is the daughter of She-Who-Is-Goddess, high priestess of the Moon worshippers on Krete and the most powerful woman in the country. Someday she will follow in her mother's footsteps, but until she does, she is simply a lonely teenager, feared by even the people she played with as a child. When she hears of a ship arriving from Athens, she sneaks out to the docks to see the new arrivals. Among them are Theseus and Prokris, sent as tributes from the king of Athens. Ariadne hopes that these newcomers will be her friends, but they are already working on a plan to overthrow the government of Krete. Sweet, shy Ariadne becomes an unwitting part of their intrigue, as does her handicapped brother, Asterion, whom many view as a monster. This retelling of the myth of the Minotaur is deft, dark, and enthralling. Barrett spares readers none of the gore and violence of the Kretan goddess-worship, which involves both human and animal sacrifice. Ariadne's beliefs, though alien to modern readers, are given sufficient context to make them comprehensible. Though Ariadne and Theseus do not share the deathless romance readers might expect from the original myth, their hesitant relationship has a charm of its own. This thoughtful, well-written reimagining of a classic myth is a welcome addition to the genre.—Misti Tidman, Licking County Library, Newark, OH

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